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The gateway to a Canadian market-driven agricultural economy: A framework for demand chain management in the food industry

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured demand chain design framework that can be linked with gateway and corridor management practices. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The model in this paper presents supply and demand thrusts that could leverage Canada's position in international food trade. Findings ‐ Since a direct correlation exists between the wealth of a nation and how it consumes food, the paper first presents five utilities and several factors that are perceived differently by customers once a nation becomes affluent. Then it presents supply and demand thrusts that could leverage Canada's position in international food trade. Finally, a demand chain design framework is suggested. Research limitations/implications ‐ The framework is meant to be organically generic and not applied to one specific commodity or market, as all commodities and targeted markets necessitate an idiosyncratic approach. Although it is met to be applicable to topographies that offer logistical challenges such as Canada. Practical implications ‐ It has been recognized that agriculture and food companies have a long tradition of being commodity-driven, with an emphasis on production technology, high volumes, and quality consistency. In the context of global hyper-competitivity, the ability to understand customer needs and adapt to a wider variety of customer situations will become crucial. Originality/value ‐ Without being specific to a targeted market or commodity, a demand chain management framework for food products is presented which provides an integrative approach for demand chain design based on food marketing practices, and which requires continuous evaluation of perceived utilities by customers.

Keywords: Canada; Demand management; Distribution management; Food industry; International trade; Supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 5, 2008

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